Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-6

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-9

Tables

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pp. x-10

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

When I first researched and wrote Asbestos and Fire a decade ago, I was an outsider looking into the world of asbestos litigation, which I have since come to know from the inside, as an expert witness for asbestos defendants. My research on engineering standards and building codes proved to be a novelty in asbestos litigation, which historically has focused on medical issues. ...

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1. The Asbestos Technology Decision Environment

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pp. 1-23

The American perception of risk in the opening years of the twenty-first century has been significantly altered and reshaped by the events of September 11, 2001, and by the less deadly but still frightening episodes of Oklahoma City in 1995 and the World Trade Center in 1993. ...

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2. Asbestos before 1880: From Natural Wonder to Industrial Material

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pp. 24-44

Asbestos is an old material, first used by humans in the Neolithic Age as a temper for ceramics. Prehistoric shards and ware containing asbestos have been found in Finland, central Russia, and Norway, and at Lapp sites in Sweden; and the material was still being used for this purpose in the 1970s in Uganda and Kenya. ...

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3. The Rise of the Asbestos Curtain

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pp. 45-77

Between 1797 and 1897, more than 10,000 persons worldwide are known to have perished in theater fires, nearly all of which started on the stage and then engulfed the audience in smoke and toxic gases.1 This figure does not include small theaters in out-of-the-way places, most of which had no reliable records of such episodes, ...

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4. Mass Destruction by Fire: Asbestos in World War II

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pp. 78-117

Fire has been employed as a weapon since humankind first learned to control it; but not until large cities could be burned from the air did it become, as in the Second World War, a true weapon of mass destruction. Torching a village or a town is certainly destructive, and there will be fire casualties among the slow-moving— ...

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5. Schools, Homes, and Workplaces: Fire Prevention in the Postwar Built Environment

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pp. 118-154

Asbestos emerged from the battles and firestorms of World War II with a global reputation for saving lives and property in a world haunted by images of burning buildings and bodies, a world in which whole cities had been obliterated by fire. In the United States, we were never again to feel safe behind our oceanic walls; ...

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6. The Asbestos Tort Conflagration

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pp. 155-172

After 1965, in part due to the success of the fire-safety system that included asbestos, short-term fire safety moved into the background of discussions of the material, and its long-term health hazards were generally treated as if they were the only safety considerations associated with asbestos. ...

Appendix A: Some Asbestos End-Uses in the United States, 1850–1990

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pp. 173-180

Appendix B: Selected List of Organizations Specifying Asbestos in Codes, Standards, or Recommendations, 1880–1980

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pp. 181-186

Notes

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pp. 187-244

Index

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pp. 245-254

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About the Author

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pp. 271-272

Rachel Maine is the author of The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction (1999), which won the Herbert Feis Award of the American Historical Association. Her third book is Hedonizing Technologies (2008), and a fourth, on textile history, is forthcoming in 2014. ...